Edition 50 - October 1997

Artwork by: Peter Rothwell

1961 - 1997

If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others, sore undone, who keep
Long vigils by the silent dust and weep
For my sake - turn again to life and smile,
Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do
Something to comfort other hearts than mine.
Complete those dear unfinished tasks of mine
And I, perchance, may therein comfort you.
Time is too slow for those who wait,
too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve, too
short for those who rejoice.
But for those who love, time is eternity.

Illustrations by: Debbie Cook





At the end of July we were able to view the excellent flower arrangements at St. Peter's Flower Festival. Everyone must be complimented, including our own members - Win Collins, Linda Brown, Kath Arscott and Eunice Allen. The church looked beautiful and made a wonderful setting for the wedding held on the Saturday.

August found us meeting up at various fetes and my thanks to Sylvia Yates and Edna Barnes for helping me on the Bottle Stall at the Berry Revels. Since bottles were not too plentiful in coming forth, all credit to Sylvia for her competitive purchases, which gave us such an attractive stall!

It was lovely to see so many members on the 2nd September following the summer break, and how lucky we were to get Mr. Gilbert of Silverdale Nurseries, at short notice, to tell us how to Winter our Fuchsias. A most interesting 'Question and Answer' time followed on other plants in our gardens.

Thirty more teddies from Ethel and with the six from Eunice, I now have 96 happy faces to greet me, all waiting patiently for their next destination. My grateful thanks to all knitters for helping this worthy cause, and I shall keep you informed as time goes by. Win Collins won the competition with a beautiful display of Foliage.

Our next meeting, after the party for the Ilfracombe Disabled Association on 16th September, will be on the 7th October, when Mr. Hood will be speaking on Reflexology, and when we hope to receive nominations for the 1998 Committee in readiness for the AGM in November where has the year gone?

With every good wish,

Vi Kingdon - President

A hint of frost is in the air,
The smell of bonfires here and there,
Birds are on the wing once more,
As Autumn knocks at Summer's door.

Teddies for Tragedies

Pictured here and joining Vi's army, is a further 50-strong Troop of Teddies kindly knitted by the residents of Barum Court, Barnstaple, under their C.O. Mrs. Weedon Senior. Many thanks to you all for 'swelling the ranks'!




Illustration by: Paul Swailes

As you will all be aware, the Show, scheduled for 6th September, was cancelled for the saddest of reasons. I'm sure the Management Committee will wish the show to continue next year, although I have decided to stand down as Chairman. I should like to take the opportunity of thanking Ray and Margaret Ludlow and Vi Kingdon for all the help and guidance they have given me during the last four Shows, and to thank everyone who supported the Show at all times.

Best wishes for 1998.

Linda Brown - Devon Cottage




Mrs. Taskis

Following a short spell in hospital and her move to Wildebrook in Ilfracombe, it is sad to report the death of Mrs. Taskis, late of Breezes, Barton Lane.

Irene Sawyer

After a long illness, Rene Sawyer of Long Acre, Barton Lane, passed peacefully away on the 13th September. We extend our sympathy to her sister Joan and family.

Albert Charles Bulled

We are sad to report that Bert Bulled - latterly of Barnstaple but formerly of Berry Down - died on the 8th September following a long illness. Our thoughts are with his son Alf, grandsons Charlie and Martin and great-grandsons Liam and Daniel, and all the family.



The aim of the R.N.I.B. is to ensure that sight loss is no barrier to the enjoyment of reading. Over 9,000 recorded books are available to choose from, including fiction and non-fiction. These tapes are played on a specially designed machine with easy to use controls.

Many blind or visually impaired people living in North Devon receive this service. A support network of volunteers help to service and maintain these machines under the guidance of a co-ordinator [little technical skill is required]. Volunteers are also required to assist people in making their book selections from catalogues. If you feel you are able to help Devon Library Services in providing support for this very worthwhile cause in either capacity, we should be very pleased to hear from you. A small return can bring a great reward.

Geoff Green
Special Services Librarian
N. D. Library & Record Office Barnstaple, EX31 IEL
Tel: [01271] 388618


Artwork: Helen Armstead


Flower Festival, 25th to 28th July

Flower Festival, with its theme of "Wedding Anniversaries" was a complete delight. Stepping in to the porch, we were met with bold arrangements, a riot of colour. Then into the church, where a wonderful variety of scents assailed our nostrils. The lovely white flowers, provided for the wedding on the Saturday, set off the brilliant colours of the other displays. Not only were the main anniversaries represented, but many of the lesser ones, all demonstrating a wealth of imagination and attention to detail. And so much work went into it all to make the weekend such a success.

Thank you to all the arrangers and helpers, especially Betty Davis who co-ordinated the event, and also to Judie Weedon for her leaflet which guided visitors around the church and provided lots of interesting snippets of information.

The preview evening with cheese and wine proved a great success and the Songs of Praise on the Sunday evening was particularly enjoyable.

Altogether, the Festival raised £536 which will go towards heating repairs.

Summer Fayre

Our Summer Fayre went with a swing thanks to the enthusiastic support we received once again. Contributions poured in in plenty and with everyone taking responsibility for their own 'corner', the evening ran smoothly and enjoyably for us all. The lamb roast proved very popular and a special thank you is due to those who helped with the barbecue. £987 was raised on the night and once expenses have been deducted, we shall show a profit of about £800. Thank you once again to everyone who helped in any way.

Harvest Festival

The Harvest Festival will begin on Sunday, 5th October, with Sung Eucharist at 10.30 a.m. Evensong at 6.30 p m. followed by the Harvest Supper in the Manor Hall will be on Wednesday, 8th October, and the produce will be auctioned at the end. Tickets for the Supper will be on sale in the Post Office the week before and also in church on the Sunday, price £3.00 for adults and £1.00 for children under 15. All proceeds will go to the Children's Hospice. The church will be decorated on Friday, 3rd October: please bring gifts of flowers and produce to the church that morning or the day before, Thursday.

Other Special Services

Family Services with the Sunday School will be on 17th October and 15th November.

Remembrance Day is on Sunday, 9th November. The special service will be held in church at 10.30 a.m. followed by the laying of the wreaths and prayers at the War Memorial.

Mary Tucker

Illustration by: Debbie Cook




Sunday School has recommenced after the summer, 10.30 to 11.30 a.m. in the Penn Curzon Room. Everyone welcome. Do come.

Sally B.



The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

I should like to thank everyone who helped in any way to make the Summer Fayre such a success. I was very impressed by the way members of the village rallied round and helped to run the stalls. We had so many visitors and the atmosphere was so good, that it really was a night to remember. Thank you all, very much indeed.

On a note of Thanksgiving, don't forget the Harvest Festival and the Harvest Supper. I am looking forward to seeing you there. One last thought from W.J. Cameron: "A thankful heart has a continual feast".

With all good wishes,
Your Friend and Rector

Keith Wyer



"May I come with you tomorrow?" My cousin had been telling of his weekly swim and massage session with a vigorous Russian woman. It must have been the excellent Hungarian 'bubbly' talking ... followed by ditto Chardonay ... Cabemet Sauvignon ... Tokaji .. ! As a result, now totally sober, we're at the outdoor pool in Kecskemet, a delightful town lying between the Danube and Tisza rivers, about 60kms from Hungary's capital, Budapest. The fertile land grows crops of corn, maize and fruit - mainly apricots. Agriculture and the allied can producing factory which my cousin runs, gives employment to many families in a population of over 100,000, making it Hungary's second largest town.

In the entrance my eyes are drawn to a huge, florid-faced woman with hands like a boxer and bursting out of her white coat. "That's not her, is it?" I whisper hoarsely, "I've heard tales of these Russian masseuses!" "No, no", I hear with relief.

Today, Saturday, many of the townsfolk are enjoying the Olympic-size pool: diving from both ends, lounging around the edge, sitting on the sun-parched grass. My cousin launches into his 20 length [1km] marathon; I set off doing the breaststroke at a more sedate pace, conscious of 2 metres of water below me at the shallow end, and no hand rail! Tiny mermaids and mermen skim by fearlessly. Three lengths later, we stroll over to the hot pool. Hungary has many thermal springs and this brackish-looking water, I am assured, is very good for one. I determine not to swallow any of it!

This is a land of hot, dry summers, and cold, snowy winters. By October the indoor pool [presently closed] should be operating with nature's hot water supply, rather than the wasteful gas heating system installed by past communist masters.

"What's the entrance fee?" I ask. "200 forints." A quick calculation 300 to the pound sterling and falling - 70p. "That's cheap." "Not when it takes you 2 hours, tax paid, to earn it!" my cousin replies. Wages are low, yet everyone appears fashionably well-dressed, restaurants are full, more and more two-car families are emerging, and houses are being bought, not rented.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Back to the pool, I skirt the slippery edges gingerly, finish with triumph my 1/4km swim and am duly handed over to a diminutive but well-formed, well tanned, sickeningly healthy-looking lass in a scrap of a bikini. Donning a white T-shirt, she leads me through two sets of crudely hung drapes. ["Defence against Arabs who try to peak at nude women", explains my cousin afterwards.] There is no finesse. Walls are peeling, the bench is rickety. I spread my damp towel on it, strip of, slightly self-consciously - 'Don't know why you worry" says another cousin later, "we all have the same, some of just have a bit more in places!" Anyway, I'm relieved I'm not in the hands [no pun intended] of the good-looking masseur - her partner. Lying on my front, as indicated, she greases my buttocks and sets to work on my neglected flab. I look up to check she's not been joined by her partner. Are there really only two hands flying over my backside like Ashkenazy playing Rachmaninov? She unzips my spine with her knuckles, transposes my shoulder blades, jiggles my vertebrae so that first they meet, then overlap. She finds trigger points of tension I'd no idea were lurking. More oil on the neck and shoulders. She lifts and tums my head so that its weight is resting on my nose which I feel widening and flattening. I fear I'll emerge resembling a close relative of Sammy Davis Jnr. Relax. Doze. I wake up, instantly alert, when she starts on my right arm. How do I explain to a Russian that I broke my left arm last February, so go easy! No problem. I say it in English. She mimes tearing a telephone directory in half, so I think she understands ... yes, she's gentle.

Various friends of hers have popped in for a chat, acknowledging me with a friendly greeting. I try desperately to remember "Yo napot kivanok" in reply, give up and mumble "rhubarb, rhubarb". A word here about the Magyar language [perhaps you know, but I didn't, that it's pronounced Majar]. It is related to no European language other than Finnish, with whom it shares about 100 words. It has 46 letters in its alphabet and is apparently very hard to leam.

Back to the slab. My cousin has warned me that at some time I will hear a sound like a sneeze, which means 'turn over'. Suddenly, "Tessek meg fordulni", the masseuse sneezes. I turn over, hoping there are no more visitors, and that the huge spider above me on the ceiling has stout suckers on his boots! Her attention concentrates on feet [aah! that tickles] and legs, and finally the scalp - the oil should do wonders for my hair - and face. Gentle fingers massage the temples, soothe the brow, circle the eye-sockets. I'm given a friendly slap and it's all over. I wrap my towel round and pad out clutching my wet 'cossie', feeling great. She immediately starts another 1/2 hour session on my cousin. The half hour costs 800 fts [under £3]; a full hour is more than double at 1800 fts, reflecting the amount of energy needed for a longer session in that heat.

My health farm massage reported earlier this year cost £20.00 or £25.00. It was good, and in wonderfully luxurious surroundings, but the end result was very much the same. To me, a visitor, the Hungarian massage was tremendous value, but if I'd had to work for 8 hours to pay for it, I might just have opted for the swim!

PP of DC



Just before she died, an elderly relative of the family sent me this poem. I should like to pass the thoughts on to the readers of the Berrynarbor Newsletter.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes
Count your garden by the flowers,
Never by the leaves that fall -
Count your days by golden hours,
Don't remember clouds at all
Count your nights by stars, not shadows,
Count your life with smiles, not tears
And with joy, through all your lifetime,
Count your age by FRIENDS not years.

Janet Greenslade - Barton Lane




Donation of Seat in the Manor Hall Playground

The Parish Council is pleased to acknowledge the gift of a seat for the children's playground from the United Reformed Church, which held its last service on the 3rd August, 1997. The seat has been given in memory of Margery Hobbs and the Church and has been sited so that the Chapel can be seen from the seat.

Fouling by Dogs

This is a continuing problem In some parts of the village. The solution is dependent on the dog owners becoming more considerate and responsible. If you know of anyone who regularly allows their dog to foul an area, please contact the District Council on 388318, and they will arrange for the Dog Wardan to speak to the person concerned. Dog owners can overcome the problem by taking a plastic bag with them and removing the offending material.

Tenders for 1998/1999

The Parish Council will be inviting tenders in October for
[a] Maintenance of Seats and Shelters, and
[b] Grass Cutting, Garden Maintenance, Footpath Clearance, etc.
for the year commencing 1st April, 1998.

Suitably experienced contractors who wish to tender should write to
John Vince, Clerk to the Council, Holly Lodge, Horne Park Road,
Ilfracombe, EX34 8JT, or telephone him on 862362.
Application must be made by Monday, 13th October.


Best Kept Village Competition 1997

Although many areas of the village maintained their usual high standards, marks were lost in certain elements of the judging and we must seek to overcome these problem areas next year. Marks are out of possible 100, with 8 'features' taking 10 points each, and l, 'clear evidence of local commitment and initiative in the care and maintenance of the village' worth 20 points. On this final point, we only managed 16/20, and also lost 5 marks apiece on 'absence of litter and unsightly refuse dumps on verges' and 'state of footpaths, stiles, field gates, signposting, ponds and streams'. We received an excellent report on the section covering churchyards, cemeteries and war memorials, with 10/10 and the comment 'beautifully kept'. Our public lavatories were 'excellent'! [Thank you, Grace, for keeping them so clean.] The general comments of the judges were: 'Individual homes superbly kept and the village clearly well loved, but marks were lost by ill-kept verges right through the length and breadth of the village - verges full of brambles and nettles with walkers finding it difficult to keep back for traffic without getting stung.'


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


When the first baby laughed for the first time,
the laugh broke into a thousand pieces
and they all went skipping about,
and that was the beginning of fairies.
J.M. Barrie

Ken and Judie Weedon are very happy to announce the arrival of their new grandson, Jamal, on the 20th July. Jamal, a third son for Helen and Kamal and brother for Joshim and Korim, and sixth great-grandchild for Barbara, weighed in at 6 lbs 12 1/2 oz.

Celia and Laurel Draper are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their grand-daughter, Lucy Jade, a daughter for Lana and Wayne. The stork has been busy calling recently - in just under a year [by 1 day], baby girls have been delivered to Allyson [Gemma, 2nd August, 1996], Lisa [Hollie, 27th December] and Lucy on the 1st August weighing in at 8 lbs 8 oz.

Sally Barten is delighted to announce that her daughter Janet and husband R.J. have given her a second grand-child, a little boy, Rory Devon, born at St. Thomas's Hospital, London, on the 23rd August, weighing 8 lbs 9 oz. And a very warm 'welcome home' to Rachel, Jonny and baby Molly, who are currently over from Australia.

Nicola and Derek Matthews of Middle Lee are proud to announce the arrival of their daughter, Sally on the 25th August. Sally, sister for William and grand-daughter for Clifford, tipped the scales at 8 lbs 6 oz.

Congratulations and best wishes to the proud parents and their new off-spring


David Beagley


1. Working in the theatre [9]
8. Right or left you are in the country [5]
9. Bag of Russian lettuces [7]
11. Mary's gone punting [6]
12. Glassy igneous rock [7]
13. It grows where it shouldn't [4]
14. Faucet for dancing on [3]
17. Chop up on a Devon river [3]
18. Painful bit of land [4]
21. SW French department [7]
23. Unbleached cotton cloth [6]
24. Turkish sofa [7]
25. This morning a stupid person makes a pile [5]
26. Expectations met [9]


2. Blower [5]
3. Gently shake the cattle [6]
4. Exasperate [3]
5. The bird that complained [7]
6. A Spanish Ford [7]
7. To utter profanity about God [9]
10. To refer to [4]
12. Many a slip [9]
15. Carrying capacity of wages van [7]
16. Press holds company back in manufacturing [7]
19. Flit around and go upwards [4]
20. Alighted [3,3]
22. He ducked the bowls at Plymouth [5]
24. A grain from a plant of the avena genus [3]

Solution in Article 29.



£300 was raised in Berrynarbor on Sunday afternoon, 20th July, for the Calvert Trust Outdoor Activity Centre for the Disabled, Exmoor. A 'thank you' to all who helped and gave their support to this event.


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


On Berry Revels day the rain stopped just as we were starting to set up and started again just as the banners were being taken down on the way home! Takings on the night amounted to £963, which was up on last year. Our thanks go to everyone who turned up to help and to those who donated the various prizes. Once again, special thanks are due to Pat Sayer who organised everything so efficiently and made the evening such a success.

An Open Meeting to discuss the proposed alterations/improvements to the Hall was held on 11th August. A lively discussion took place and on a majority vote it was decided to proceed with the application for Millennium funding. In brief, the changes would entail great improvements to the Penn Curzon Room and Pre-School area, a new storage/backstage area behind the existing stage, new toilet facilities, wheelchair access and toilets for the disabled, new heating/lighting, restoration of the facade of the Penn Curzon building, reroofing the complete building and improvements to the access areas around the doors. The total cost of the project would be around £180,000 and assuming we received the anticipated grants, the village would need to raise £30,000. The Management Committee are actively seeking volunteers to help co-ordinate a project of this magnitude, and if anyone is interested in having a go, please contact Brian Mountain on 883032 or come along to our next meeting on 7th October at 7.15 p.m. Our meetings are always held on the first Tuesday of each month.





The Parcel of Rogues

will be performing at the Manor Hall on
Friday, 24th September, at 8.00 p.m.
Bar provided by The Sawmills

Tickets available from:

  • The Pre-School
  • The Post Offce or
  • On the Door on the Night

The Pre-school currently has vacancies for 3-5 year olds. Please come and have a look! Our Supervisor, Lynn Draper, will be happy to answer your questions. Open: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9.15 - 11.45 a.m.

The Summer Playscheme made a good start this year. Many thanks to the staff, parents who supported us and the Manor Hall Management Committee for all their help. We hope, with sufficient Interest and funding, to be able to provide this facility next year.




Once again a full programme has been arranged commencing in October and continuing through to May. Wine tasting meetings are held monthly at the Manor Hall on the third Wednesday of the month, commencing at 8.00 p.m. The programme is varied, with a mixture of professional input and presentations by members, covering wine producing areas from all over the world. At the AGM held in April, the retiring Committee were again re-elected and both Membership Fees and Monthly Contributions remain unchanged at £3.00.

We hope to welcome new members at our first meeting on Wednesday, 15th October, when Tony Summers will be giving a presentation on "RIOJA". Anyone interested is welcome. Please contact any of the following for more details: Chairman - Alex Parke [883758], or Secretary - Tony Summers [883600].

Tom Bartlett - Publicity Offcer [883408]



The two delightful photographs on the following pages have been sent to Jill and Brian Mountain by a summer visitor, Terry Urlwin of Peterborough, who, believe it or not, discovered them in an old copy of The National Geographic Magazine dated May 1929 found in a junk shop in the U.S!

The photographs were taken by A.W. Cutler and one is of the old shelter by the church steps [now the bus shelter] and the other of Capel Cottage. Although the magazine is dated 1929, it is felt from the clothes and boots of the children, that the photographs may have been taken some ten years earlier.

Can anyone identify the children? It has been suggested that one of the boys might be John Snell? If you can help, please contact either Brian [883032] or the editor [883544].

Thank you Terry, Brian and Jill for sharing with us all these charming reminders of by-gone Berrynarbor.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Congratulations and best wishes to Elise Fanner and Paul Smith, from New South Wales, Australia, who were married at St. Peter's Church, Berrynarbor, on 26th July. They plan to settle in the Exmouth area in the near future where Elise hopes to take a B.Ed. Degree and Paul would like to relocate with his present job maintaining fitness equipment systems.

Congratulations, too, to Katie Neale and Nicola Richards, jointly awarded the Govenors' Silver Jubilee Prize for Public Spiritedness at the recent College Presentation Evening. Katie, who is off to take a degree in primary education at Oxford Brookes also won the 'A' Level prize for excellence in Design Technology, and Nicola has just returned from a successful summer with Camp America. Well done!



"I've always wanted to jump out of a plane" announced James. Now this was a complete surprise as we had always been convinced that he suffered from mild vertigo, which I had put down to David falling off his potty and breaking his arm when I was expecting James. Still I suppose leaping from "Peter and Jane at the Seaside", as James was wont to do, would prepare anyone for the challenges of life!

It was all arranged - some friends of both James and David and a couple of Sandy's colleagues - but when it came to actual commitment [and paying the deposit] those friends all found urgent appointments [catching up with Eastenders, I believe] and one of Sandy's cohorts had to suddenly go abroad and the other was found to be too fat! So that left a few places to be filled, didn't it? Philippa didn't mind, Seonaid was desperate to do it, and a couple more of David's friends wanted to join in, that left only one place! "My mum will do it", James told the organiser.

Now I'm the sort of person who gets the urge to jump off the top of high buildings, so of course, I agreed ... leam friends, it is no sin to be a coward.

Friday dawned, this was our training day and we had to be at Eaglescott for 8.30 a.m. This was easy having been awake for most of the night! This was the hardest day and for ten hours we theorised and practised. We learnt the theory of flight, the construction of canopies and the geography of the airfield. In between we practised the jump: one thousand, two thousand, three thousand, four thousand, check canopy, brakes off, check cables, check handles. Time and again we jumped from packing cases. "More aggression" yelled the jumpmaster, "cover those handles" - these controlled the release of our canopies, so were fairly important. It was like an army training film, we were exhausted.

The moment of truth came when we were shown how we would jump from the door of the plane. "Inch forward, hands on the side of the door, foot in the comer of the doorway, now dangle both legs out of the plane, keeping one half buttock perched in the doorway." Grown men paled, then turned green. Eyes widened as the horror of what we were about to do for pleasure dawned on us. We kept our eyes to ourselves - no-one would be the first to give in.

Saturday came - the first day of the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, Seonaid had been throwing up all night, so I generously volunteered to wait and to jump at some later date!! It had been cloudy all morning but by mid afternoon the sky cleared and the jump was on. They were robed and seven strangely quiet men and Philippa sat awaiting their fate and covering their handles. Three by three they marched to the plane, ashen faced. I was so afraid watching until each canopy opened and then I was so thrilled that I wasted rolls and rolls of film taking pictures of specks in the sky that no-one can recognise! But hey, what's a roll of film amongst friends when everyone has landed safely - well almost, David and Pip decided to give us all a thrill by trying to land on the roof of the airfield building. Sandy, of course, landed right in the centre of the cross and collected a fiver from each of us for his efforts - he was unliveable with. Roy summed up everyone's feelings when he mused, "I wish I were back at school and had to write a story about what I did this weekend."

My turn came the following week-end - Seonaid was really up for it and I was terrified. As luck would have it, within ten minutes of arriving, we were dressed and ready to fly. My senses shut off- it was a bit like being nine and a half months pregnant ... nothing you can do about it! I remember walking to the plane, handing my cord to the jumpmaster and taking responsibility for myself. I remember kneeling in this absurdly small plane and the sudden space as the first of our group disappeared into the void. I remember perching in the doorway and our instructor's voice saying "You can't fall out and if you do, you are wearing a parachute, ha! ha!" He was laughing at our discomfort. The last thing I remember is the pricking of my skin and my heart stopping. I don't remember jumping out of the plane.

Suddenly there was peace, pure, pure peace, stillness, me gently drifting ... at one with myself, at one with the world. It was the sense of wonder, the feeling of being as light as a feather, yet of being in total control - I knew what I was doing. You've heard of pride going before a fall, yep, you've guessed! As I approached the landing site I lost it. Panic set in and instead of putting my feet down firmly as we had been taught, I lifted them out of the way and surprise, surprise, I landed on my face!

But I had landed. I was in one piece. I had done it! I am now a proud member of the British Parachuting Association - temporarily anyway. P.S. Parachute Club don't think that there has been a family of six who have all jumped, so they want to photograph us for the national magazine - fame at last - just about fifteen minutes' worth.

Our intrepid writer pleased to be back on terra firma!

Ann Anderson - Beach Leigh

Congratulations to all the Anderson family - Sandy, Ann, David, James, Seonaid and Pippa - are you brave or just foolhardy? And to Sandy for raising £200 for church funds.



Get well wishes to everyone who has not been well recently, we hope you will soon be feeling better. It is good to learn that Mildred is home with her sisters, Kathleen and Audrey [Tucker], recuperating after 8 weeks in hospital and we hope progress continues.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


It is with much sadness that we say 'goodbye' to Laurel and Celia Draper who have moved to Braunton, and Peggy Eppingstone who has returned to Beer in East Devon. We shall miss them and wish them every happiness in their new homes.

Farewell, but only temporarily, to Elaine Gubb who is off to 'au pair' in America. We hope she will be very happy and look forward to hearing her news in due course.

We welcome Rachel, Peter and baby Thomas to Wood Park and the Wellers who have joined the 'folks who live up the hill' at Berrynarbor Park, and hope you will be happy here in the village.


"Berry Pomeroy Castle - Part Two"

Henry Pomeroy

Another story associated with the Pomeroy family tells of the supposed death of Henry Pomeroy at the castle. Henry supported John Lackland against Richard Coeur de Lion. He was forced to flee Berry Castle and seized St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall, where he held out for as long as he could. History tells that having first assigned his land to his sons when he realised that all hope was gone, he ordered his surgeon to bleed him to death in the old Roman fashion.

The legend, however, is far more glamorous, saying that Henry chose to don armour, blindfold his horse and, blowing his bugle, charge over the precipice of the castle to his death below.

As with all good stories there is, of course, at least one other variation ... after the Rebellion of 1549, the order went out for castles to be destroyed, but two young Pomeroy knights refused to destroy their home. They buried their treasure somewhere in the grounds and, according to this version, it was they who galloped from the battlements.

The Lovers

A son of the Pomeroys surprised his sister with an enemy of the family, and slew them both [history does not recount how or when]. On moonlit nights, the light falling through a high embrasure [bevelled side of a window aperture] reveals the two figures struggling to reach each other across the empty space romantically described by some as being 'held back by hatred'.


Many photographs of unusual forms have been taken inside the castle grounds. In 1968, the figure of a man in a tricorn hat and another of a young woman were captured on film - independently on different days by two different holidaymakers. The picture of the man was declared genuine by the Psychic Research Society.

Comments have been collected from a group of Department of the Environment workers who spent some time on the site. One told how he bent to pat a dog that no-one else could see; another believed that the site was crossed by ley-lines and felt electrical energy there. Perhaps oddly, one female worker thought it was a happy rather than eerie place.

Finally, Peter Underwood - writer, broadcaster and President of the Ghost Club [founded 1862] since the 1960's offers the following advice for visitors to Berry Pomeroy Castle: be as quiet as possible and listen in different parts of the ruins, always have a camera ready and, most importantly, never follow any figure you may see there.

Mark Norman

Ghosts and Unsolved Mysteries - the Evening Class! One of only two of its kind in the country, this takes place at Ilfracombe College on the first Tuesday of the month, 7.30 to 9.30 p.m. The group explores various subjects through informal discussion, demonstration and analysis of evidence. The cost per session is just £3.00. The next session is on Tuesday, 14th October [why this is not the first Tuesday is a mystery in itself!] and the subject will be ESP, Psychokinesis and Mind Control.

Further details from Ilfracombe College Community Department [864171].



Illustrated by: Helen Armstead

I was only a child those years ago
When with my mother and father each Sunday we'd go
Walking under blue skies. Oh! those summers so warm
Down lanes, fields full of new life, wild flowers adorn
Through my child-eyes Life was such fun,
I'd never seen, yet heard, the sound of a gun.
The "Last-War" horrors were never spoken to me
But my child-eyes could not fail to see
As I skipped through the fields of poppies so red
My father walking upright, but with bowed head
Thousands of crosses like soldiers-in-line
Standing erect, white and so fine.
So near to the poppy fields they were connected
White crosses of Brave Men, Poppy Faces reflected.
Those child-eyes looked across fields and red -
Then up at my father still erect with bowed head.
A tear-trickled face, he took my small hand
"One day, my dear daughter, you'll understand,
Thousands of white crosses and poppies is now all you see.
Remember the Brave Souls in this Cemetery."

Ann Moseley [nee Billett]



"Summer sea and azure air and blue butterflies were flecks of sky."
Henry Williamson

A low ridge of pebbles, between boats moored at Broad Sands, seemed to come to life suddenly. Some small speckled balls of fluff hurtled out from it and moved surprisingly fast across the sand. These were ringed plover chicks. Their parents hastily rounded them up and ferried them over to the dunes at Crow Point.

They are lively, pretty shore birds, their legs twinkling as they run, stopping abruptly to bob down and pick up a sandhopper; showing little concern about any humans passing by.

Described as 'waistcoated' waders, ringed plovers black bands across the forehead, through the eyes and around neck with a black gorget on the breast. The legs and bill are orange yellow; the back light brown and the rest of the plumage is white.

Squealing and growling sounds came from the dense reeds bordering the little pond beyond the White House - very unbirdlike. A triangle of white appeared first [the undertail coverts] then the whole bird emerged. A water rail! This is a bird more often heard than seen because it is so secretive and nervous. It is active mainly in the evening. With its long red bill, lavender grey neck and breast, black and white stripes on the pink legs, it is a handsome and distinctive bird. The back is chestnut brown, streaked with black. It is very slender and can quickly conceal itself. The one we observed was at no time far from the sanctuary of the reed bed.

Further along the estuary, a seal lay on a sand bank, frequently raising a flipper to propel flies away from its face. When a motor boat approached, the seal took to the water eventually reappearing on the opposite shore. Meanwhile, another seal was swimming along the water's edge close to where two men had started to fish. They moved their gear a few yards away, the seal followed.

There was a carpet of marsh samphire [also called glasswort because its ashes were once used in the production of glass], the succulent, jointed stems conserving water and helping to dilute the salt. The botanist, Richard Mabey, says it is not clear whether the characteristic plants of the sea shore are concentrated there because they have a particular need for salt or because they have evolved special defences against it.

Among the samphire were the mauve flowers of sea aster looking very like Michaelmas daisies - and sea lavender, an odd plant related to statice [everlasting flowers], where the coloured calyx remains after the petals have dropped. The blue flowers are very small and arranged closely together on branched stems giving the plant a flat, two-dimensional look.

The White House at the end of Horsey Island - Peter Rothwell


Artwork: Paul Swailes


It was decided some months ago - over a pint or two, of course - that the theme for this year's carnival float had to be 'Farewell Hong Kong'. Phil and his team got out their saws, hammers, nails and paint brushes; Bet and Jim Brooks were seconded to create a dragon and Ann Davies volunteered to organise the costumes.

On the 13th August, on a lovely warm sunny evening, a very colourful Chinese 'junk' made its way along Combe Martin High Street, having just won 2nd in Class. A week later, In torrential rain, it took 1st in Class and Best Overall at Ilfracombe, which it repeated at Barnstaple four weeks later.

Photo: Keith Powell, llfracombe

Once again a big thank you to Jill and Brian Mountain for allowing part of their bam to be used for storage and construction work; Herbert Parkin for loan of tractor; Alan and Alf for cleaning the tractor and towing the float; Richard Haines for the smoke machine; Hele Building Supplies and Lynn for feeding the team!

Everyone enjoyed being involved and it is hoped the team spirit and the fun had by all helped to raise lots of money for charity.

Stop Press:

  • Saturday, 4th October - Bring along your pumpkins - heaviest and best dressed - to be judged at 9.30 p.m. approximately.
  • Sunday, 5th October - Pumpkins to be raced down Pit Hill at 3 o'clock, followed by a rounders match - weather permitting - in the playing field.

Do come along if you can and if you don't have a pumpkin but would like to join in the fun, please see Phil.



Buy your
and support your local
12p each from
Eunice Allen, Bali-Hai, Sterridge Valley
call or 'phone 882491

Birthday and other Cards - 25p each

Eunice would be delighted to collect
All old Greetings Cards [of any kind] for Recycling


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Harvest Festival, October 1st 1949

This photograph shows Valerie Bowden passing locally produced vegetables, fruit and flowers down to her husband, Len, at the foot of the Church cobbled steps. Valerie tells me that every year they would set out together from Ruggaton Farm with their horse and trap/long tailed cart, stopping at several houses, collecting gifts of local produce, to add to their own, for the Harvest Festival Service at St. Peter's Church.

The gentleman seen standing at the entrance to the lych gate is the Church Warden, Jim Ley, who lived at Hole Farm just beyond Goosewell on the Old Ilfracombe Road. I believe that the car seen on the left is an Austin Seven Ruby saloon, complete with its AA membership badge and registration number BTT 203. I wonder if anyone knows to whom it belonged? As to the present day, the completion and gathering of the harvest was always celebrated in the Church, and more recently followed by harvest celebrations in the Manor Hall, taking the form of a meal followed by entertainment from all sections of the community, involving both young and old.

The second picture shows Combe Martin farmer, Dick Lerwill and his wife en route to Ilfracombe Market at the tum of the century, Entitled: "A Bit of Old Combe", it is one of a series of cards produced and sold in Ilfracombe, both before and after the First World War. I have included this card as not only could it have been taken within the Parish of Berrynarbor, but also the horse and trap look very similar to those belonging to Len and Valerie Bowden.

My thanks to Valerie Bowden for the photograph and the information.

View No. 46 - North Lee Farm, April 1997

I have recently received yet further information relating to the above article, this time from Tony Beauclerk, who lives in Colchester, and I was able to put him in touch with Rosslyn Hammet [nee Huxtable]. Tony contacted me first on the telephone and then, at my request, sent the following information for which I thank him, If anyone has any more news, please contact me.

With World War Two about to happen, the Beauclerk family moved into Meadow Dene, Barton Lane. This was later called Four Winds and is now Well Cottage. Through the War, my half-brother worked at North Lee Farm for Stanley Huxtable. We kept two cows there at different times, and did very well for milk and sometimes clotted cream. My half-brother, Gerald, and Stanley Huxtable agreed to buy a couple of piglets to rear on the understanding that if one died, then they would share the surviving one. Of course they both survived! Lilian Chapple's husband, George, who was a butcher, came out from Ilfracombe and did all the necessary preparation and the joints were salted down in an earthenware bin. We sacrificed our bacon ration for a while but it was well worth it. We also brought up a couple of orphaned lambs for Stanley - one was called "Baa" and the other "Larry". They were returned to the farm when matured.

Berrynarbor playing field was a hayfield in those days with "Tidy" pulling the cart. Gerald died on 4th March, 1981, and my mother, Violet, on 7th November, 1991. I'm sure older residents will remember them. The following names I remember well: Long Jack Draper, Miss Cooper [who ran the shop], Queenie Draper, Jill Chugg at Mill Farm, Hedley Nicholls the carpenter, Mr. and Mrs. Copeland at Monks Path, the Connibears, the Richards at Barton Farm and Rudd who ran the Post Office. There was Jack Foster the postman, John [Whistle] Stevens, Captain Adams at On a Hill Garage, Peacheys at Prospect, Birdswell Lane, Cockney Joe Atherton of the Glass Box, Miss Morlett of the Berrynarbor Players [she was the producer, I think], the Steadmans at Bessemer Thatch, Dan Jones the Blacksmith, Mr. Autry the postman, Jim Bowden, Don Thurtle, Bill Blackmore, the Dinnicombes and Mr. Hacker [retired headmaster]. I'm 68 and the brain cells seem to be working quite well. Now, where did I put my glasses?

Love to Berrynarbor

Tony Beauclerk

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, September 1997





1stMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
2ndWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
3rdDecoration of St. Peter's for Harvest Festival - gifts of flowers and produce during the morning please.
4thPumpkin Competition - The Globe 9.30 p.m.
5thSt. Peter's Church: Harvest Festival, Sung Eucharist 10.30 a.m.
Pumpkin Race, Church Steps, 3.00 p.m.
7thW.I. Meeting: Mr. Hood - Reflexology.
Manor Hall Management Meeting, 7.15 p.m.
8thSt. Peter's Church: Harvest Evensong, 6.30 p.m. followed by the Harvest Supper
7thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
14thParish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
15thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
Wine Circle: "Rioja" - Tony Summers, 8.00 p.m. Manor Hall
16thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
19thSt. Peter's Church: Family Service, 10.30 a.m.
23rdWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
24thCollege and Primary School: Non-Pupil Day.
Pre-school Playgroup: Parcel of Rogues, Manor Hall. 8.00 p.m.
27thto Friday, 31st October [inc.] Half Term
29thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
30thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
4thW.I. Meeting: Annual Meeting and Election of Officers
6thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
9thSt. Peter's: Remembrance Service, 10.30 a.m.
11thParish Council Meeting: 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
12thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
13thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
15thSt. Peter's Church: Family Service
19thWine Circle: "Test Your Knowledge - Blind Tasting" - Alex Parke, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall
20thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
26thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
27thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
29thW.I. Coffee Morning, Manor Hall, 10.30 a.m.
2ndW.I. Meeting - "Preparing for Christmas"




Do you have any unwanted furniture or
household items to donate to those in need?

We will collect.
Please contact us on [01271] 327564


Artwork: Judie Weedon


My sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to this full and varied issue - Hungarian Massage, Parachute Jumping, delightful photographs of Old Berrynarbor and poems. Special thanks to the 'regulars' and to Peter Rothwell for the lovely cover and illustration for our 'Walk', Paul Swailes for his many illustrations and Debbie Cook for the beautiful tribute to Princess Diana.